Last night’s improvised lodging worked out great. Dan, Spencer, and I went our for burgers and beers then I hit the hay. I awoke at 1:30 and looked out the window. Not a cloud in the sky just so many stars that Carl Sagan would be pleased.
The early morning view of the lake was nearly as amazing.
The lodge unexpectedly provided motel breakfast. The lodge owner told me to expect a few more climbs before the road tips toward California’s Central Valley.
He was right, of course. The first hill was rudely a mile into the ride. How dare they?
A few miles later was a 1,000 foot climb back up to 7,900 feet. Sleeping at 8,000 feet seemed to help me get over this hump. There was a third climb of a few hundred feet after they then The Mule could take off.
I stopped a few times to admire the view.
At Hams Station I considered eating second breakfast. The restaurant has both open and closed signs displayed. If they couldn’t decide I wasn’t going to give them my business. I rode past Cooks Station a few miles later but by then I was looking to break 60 miles by noon, so no dice.
After about ten miles of descending the route at 25 to 40 mph, I turned off the main highway. No more rumble strips. No more direct sunlight. The narrow, two-lane, shaded country road now had patches and small potholes all over the place. The shade made it hard to tell where they were. I had to slow my roll down into the teens. So not fair!
Every so often I’d get rambunctious and let The Mule loose… until I hit a rough section. My back took the worst of the bumps.
At Omo Ranch I started seeing farms. Soon thereafter I saw miles and miles of vineyards, each with a tasting room. I didn’t give into temptation.
At Ono Ranch an elevation sign said I was at 3,612 feet. This was the first time since Kansas that I’d been below 4,000 feet.
In Mt Aukum I stopped for lunch at noon at a cafe. It was just shy of 50 miles for the day. Still not a bad morning’s work.
Back on the bike I was passed through a few gigantic vineyards then found myself passing fields of tall, golden grass. The occasional field had some cattle in it but they wanted nothing to do with entertaining me. Instead they looked up, momentarily stopped chewing, then returned to their mastication.
I stopped again at tony Rancho Murieta where I saw a text from my Warmshowers hosts. It suggested a route to their house that completely bypassed Folsom to the north, saving me at least 15 miles.
They were leaving the house at four do I decided to see if I could get there before they left. It was then that I realized that i was now about 60 feet above sea level and my legs seemed supercharged. Hemoglobin is a wonderful thing.
I arrived at Fay and Robs place just as they were leaving. They left me food, beer, and a swimming pool. So far I’ve taken what was behind door number 1.
Tomorrow will be my approach to San Francisco. I plan on riding through Sacramento, Davis, Vacaville, and Fairfield. If my legs will agree I’ll ride all the way to Vallejo, the point of departure for the ferry to the City. Then, on Friday morning I’ll set sail for the Ferry Terminal and a reunion with my bikeDC friends Jessie and Mike.
Today’s miles: 94.5
Tour miles: 2,875.3
Top speed: 40.1 mph